Like most gadget geeks, I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the iPad 2. Apple’s official iPad 2 unveiling last Wednesday revealed some pretty exciting features, most notably:
- Support for iOS 4.3 and all its accompanying bells and whistles (click here for more details)
- Faster processor
- Front and rear cameras (Facetime, anyone?)
- 3G models offered through Verizon, in addition to AT&T
- Thinner body and white trim
What’s more, Apple did not raise the price on the iPad 2, with the introductory 16GB/Wi-Fi only model at $499 — the same price as the equivalent model of the original iPad.
So the big question is: to buy or not to buy the iPad 2? Based on the biggest additions noted above, is the iPad 2 a necessary gain for your situation?
- iOS 4.3 will be available as an upgrade on iPhones (3GS, 4), iPod Touches (3rd and 4th generation) and both the original and second generation iPads. So you don’t have to own an iPad 2 to reap the benefits of the new OS.
- If you plan to use an iPad only for leisure activities — not for productivity needs — then the additional processing power may not be necessary. I’ve found the power in my first generation iPad to be sufficient for everything I do.
- Based on various reports, including this CNN article, the iPad 2′s cameras are low resolution. According to the CNN article, the device will most likely “capture stills at a mere 0.7 megapixels.” That’s well below most average cellphones these days, and pales in comparison to Apple’s own iPhone 4, which sports a 5 megapixel camera. I don’t deny the coolness, however, of the ability to do Facetime on the iPad 2. But how many of your family and friends have a Facetime-compatible device that would allow you to talk with them?
If you’re choosing between an iPad and iPad 2, consider this: the 16GB Wi-Fi only original iPad is now $100 less at $399. So if you don’t really “need” a faster processor and Facetime, then you’ll be saving yourself a hundred bucks by going with the original iPad. However, if those two features are important and/or you want a 3G plan through Verizon, then the iPad 2 is worth the extra money.
The iPad 2: to buy or not to buy? Where do you stand?